July 26, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; The Green Bay Packers defense looks on during training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field in Green Bay, WI. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
Guys, football is back! The Green Bay Packers took the practice field for the first day of training camp on Thursday, playing in shells. As dictated by the new collective bargaining agreement, the pads can't come on for a few days. The players practiced in shells today. The biggest story was probably the surprise return of running back Alex Green, who appears to be fully recovered from a torn ACL. He was not limited in practice today.
The official twitter account of the Packers sent out some comments from the players following practice. Let's start with Green.
Alex Green: offseason helped me. I wasn't just working on rehab. I was studying playbook. Personal goal to be cleared for Day 1— Green Bay Packers (@packers) July 26, 2012
Rodgers: fun to see Alex Green out there. We know what kind of player we have. If he can stay healthy, he can be part of our offense.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) July 26, 2012
I have a feeling that Green is going to be a huge weapon catching the ball out of the backfield for the Packers this season, and I'm really excited to see him in the first game of preseason. I know a lot of fans have been worried about running back depth heading into camp, and Green's health should alleviate a lot of those concerns. He was really making progress before his injury last season and he's going to get plenty of snaps with Ryan Grant gone.
Nick Perry spoke about making the transition to outside linebacker.
LB Nick Perry: don't have a set of goals. Everything is still new to me. Playing DE was react. Now it's more thinking.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) July 26, 2012
There's no doubt that Perry will be effective as a pass rusher right away, but it's up in the air whether or not he'll learn all of the other aspects of his position quickly enough to be an every down starter. We don't know enough about his development yet to make a call, but prepare yourselves emotionally for Perry to potentially be a 3rd down specialist.
Finally, Randall Cobb talks about what he did in the offseason.
Randall Cobb: worked on route-running in offseason. Understanding offense is much easier this year. But nothing is given— Green Bay Packers (@packers) July 26, 2012
Donald Driver is not about to go quietly into the night without a fight, but the Packers are going to be absurdly dangerous if Cobb has improved his route running enough to actually win the slot receiver job. His athleticism is spectacular, but he's still very raw.
Mike McCarthy spoke to the media as well, and we'll have something on his press conference eventually. I haven't had the chance to transcribe that yet. Expect a couple of more posts on camp later before we shut up shop for the night.